Recently diagnosed

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I'm 37 and just recently diagnosed with Stage 1 Cervical cancer. I had a LLETZ procedure and biopsy followed by an MRI and CT scan. I was then booked in for an internal examination under anesthetic on Monday. They plan to go forward with chemo and radiotherapy and have now referred me for a PET scan next week. I guess they'll decide from there on the exact treatment plan.

I was initially really positive and grateful that it seemed to be caught early but their decision to bypass the hysterectomy gives me the impression that maybe it's worse than anticipated? Can they be wrong about what stage it is?

I'm just feeling really overwhelmed this week and to top it off I've just stopped seeing someone after 5 months so maybe that's just adding to the gloom of it all. I have no kids, my parents passed a few years back and the closest family I have aren't local. I have some excellent friends but they have their own lives and responsibilities and I know they'll help as much as they can but I just don't know how I'm going to cope with it all on my own.

Everything just seems really dark today

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    I’m always sorry to read of a new diagnosis, but hope that joining the group will help as you come to terms with all of this. I wonder if you’ve had any more information beyond stage 1 cancer? There are various sub stages within stage 1, which may impact on the treatment plan. I think that your treating team will want all the information possible to determine the exact stage and plan, hence the petscan. It’s true that the petscan can change the stage, depending on the results from it, but I didn't have a petscan on my first diagnosis, just an mri and Ct scan. 

    It’s really not surprising that you are feeling down, given your family situation and the fact that you are no longer seeing your partner-that’s a tough one.

    I do have a partner, but had lost both my parents by the time I’d been diagnosed with cancer the first time, and I’d moved 400 miles away from my previous life so even now I don’t have a circle of friends around me. Sometimes I find that very hard and it can be very lonely. It’s hard, so I definitely get do have friends, so hopefully you wont feel completely on your own. 

    Things can seem very dark at times, but all I can say is to concentrate on what you know right now, and try not to look too far ahead before you know more. Many of us have come through the chemoradiation route so we do have a lot of experience of this within the group and can help support you through this. Try to focus on the fact that this can be a very effective treatment. 

    You don’t have long to wait for your petscan, and hopefully will get your results and plan soon after. Pleaseuse the group to ask any questions or just get some support when you need it. Times are scary when you first have a diagnosis, but please don’t feel alone-we understand how all of this feels.

    Sarah xx

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    Cervical Cancer Forum

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  • Thank you Sarah. I think this week has just been overwhelming. Id seen my mum going through chemo and radiotherapy for bowel cancer and your mind just goes back to the toughest moments. Im trying my best to remain positive and I feel a bit brighter this morning. I was initially told it was stage 1b1 but I suppose the scan will confirm that for sure. I'm hoping that once they've decided on my exact treatment plan I can just focus on dealing with it and getting better. Things just feel uncertain right now. 

    Thank you for your support x

  • Hi  

    It’s hard when you’re first diagnosed and waiting for your plan and treatment to start. One thing I would say is that the chemo for bowel cancer and the usual chemo for cervical cancer are very different. Normally you will get Cisplatin for cervical cancer, and it’s a low dose designed to increase the effectiveness of the radiotherapy so doesn’t typically have as many side effects as bowel chemo might have. And it is typically only 5 sessions over 5 weeks. Personally i didn’t have any side effects with it.

    I found the radiotherapy tougher in terms of side effects as it can cause bowel and bladder issues-usually urgency and diarrhoea, and cystitis type symptoms. But the team treating you will want to hear about any side effects you experience and will be able to prescribe things to help. I was given loperamide and different creams to cope with the cystitis. It’s important to note too that not everyone has side effects from treatment, and many ladies don’t have any. You need to be advised of possible side effects in order to consent to treatment, but it doesn’t mean you will get all or indeed any of them. 

    Chemo days are long as it takes around 6 hours to be administered, and you will receive anti sickness meds through the infusion as well as being given anti sickness tablets to take home-I didn’t need them at all. The radiotherapy side effects kicked in for me at the start of the third week of treatment, but stopped soon after treatment was finished. 

    I’m glad you feel a bit brighter today-stage 1 cancer is still classed as an early stage, and there is every hope that the treatment will work. 

    Sarah xx

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    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm